The IKEA HEMNES Chest Hack You Need To Try In Your Home Workspace

Establishing a productive office at home provides you with a private, quiet place to work without distractions so you can maintain optimal productivity. But personalizing this space to your preferences turns it into a personal oasis. Simple touches like painting the area in your favorite color or adding a bookshelf to display your favorite books can make working or engaging in hobbies more enjoyable and fulfilling. This is precisely what several people have been doing with the IKEA HEMNES chest hack. This ingenious trick converts the chest into a multifunctional piece that combines a desk, a chest of drawers, and a bookcase into one versatile unit.

How your DIY home workspace haven will depend on how you envision it and what you already have in your house. For instance, you can use one IKEA HEMNES and create your bookshelf from scratch, similar to what TikTok user @cassmakeshome did. Alternatively, you can follow the example of The Interior Lyfe, who utilized existing bookshelves along with her two IKEA HEMNES chests to create an expansive built-in desk and bookshelf unit. The unit spans the entire corner of her home office, showing how combining existing furnishings with new pieces can result in a large, cohesive, and efficient workspace.

How to make your DIY built-in desk and bookshelf

Drawing inspiration from @cassmakeshome, start by sketching your design with precise dimensions, especially if you're building your bookshelf. Before positioning the HEMNES unit, remove baseboard moldings for a flush fit against the wall. For construction, a 3/4-inch sanded plywood sheet is needed for the desk surface. If you're building a bookcase, get an additional plywood sheet for the base, 1/2-inch sheets for shelves and sides, and 1x2 inch furring strips for the bookshelf's edges.

Assemble the desk so it runs through the bookcase seamlessly, and attach another plywood sheet at one end to act as the desk's leg. Install or construct your bookshelf atop the dresser by assembling and screwing everything in place. Finish the bookshelf with the 1x2 furring strips for a refined look. If you have two HEMNES chests, you can place a large hardwood countertop over the two chests, creating a spacious desk surface. Alternatively, copy The Interior Lyfe, who divided a butcher block countertop into three pieces: two to the top of each chest, and a third piece to create a floating desk in the middle. Use L-brackets or cleats to mount the central piece against the wall. Sand and paint the unit in your chosen color and add trims along the edges for a cohesive appearance that integrates well with the surrounding wall.